Refcode is a program of Tekton Career Training, a registered 501(c)3, so all donations are tax-deductible!

Financial Giving

Our weird problem

We are too efficient and too effective with the money we use, and we've gotten too good at finding ways to accomplish our mission for free. That sounds like a good thing, but here's why it's a problem. When you look at our budget, the money we spend on programming is extremely low. We depend on in-kind donations and volunteers.

But organizing all of that programming takes a lot of work, and those events need to happen in a venue. But paying for staff to organize everything and a space to host everything gets categorized as "administrative overhead." That's practically a swear-word in the nonprofit fundraising world. Nobody likes to donate for "administrative overhead," people (wrongly) think it's wasted money. And even larger grantwriters want to see a certain ratio of money being spent on programming vs. overhead. If too much is going to overhead, it's considerd bad!

In the short term, things are working out because the founder has never taken any compensation for his time and continues to work for Refcode for free, even quitting his job to give more time. But eventually we need to be able to pay for a director's salary. We're working on solutions to that, but in the meantime, please know that your donations are incredibly helpful and impactful.

General Donations

Refcode is an amazingly lean program. We are grateful to receive a lot of time from volunteers as well as physical items like laptops. However none of it would be possible if we didn't have a budget to take care of the boring stuff like our venue, our staff, and quite literally, keeping the lights on. While donating to a general fund like this may not seem very exciting, it's one of the best ways to support Refcode since it gives us the freedom to use the money where it is needed most.

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Corporate Matching

Many companies will match your donations or have other programs. Refcode is a program of Tekton Career Training, a registered 501(c)3.

Many matching programs utilize Benevity for their giving. You can find us on Benevity under the name "Tekton Career Training" or by clicking here.

Sponsor a Cohort

Our goal is to have a new cohort of 20 refugees graduate each quarter. Refugees and immigrants participate for free, and receive a free MacBook after graduating. Running a class takes a huge amount of time and effort and has a lot of fixed costs. Anyone who has ever run an event of similar scope will be surprised to know that we can cover the costs of an entire class for only $5,000. This is possible because Refcode runs incredibly lean! Laptops are donated, instructors, TAs, mentors, and study group leads are all volunteer, and software is often donated.

That being said, we do have costs associated with each class and need a minimum of $5,000 to make a class possible.

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Sponsor a Learn-and-Earn Student

Knowledge is power, but knowledge isn't always employment. In Software Engineering, "entry level" jobs usually require two years of full time experience. Most refugees and immigrants aren't able to spend two years without pay gaining this experience, which is why we started the Refcode Software Agency.

In this program, we're able to hire refugees and immigrants and pay them to learn on the job, and before long, they'll be building software for clients and gaining incredibly valuable career skills and resume experience, all while earning a living wage.

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In-kind giving


To do serious computer work, students need access to a serious computer. We loan a MacBook to each student while they are taking the course, and those students who graduate get to keep the laptop as a gift that will help them as they work towards a career in Software Engineering.

We need 20 laptops per quarter. In the past, we have received donations of used company laptops from Mailchimp and Cypress. If you or your company can donate your used laptops, please reach out here.

Other items

We need all kinds of computer peripherals, desks, chairs, and more. If you something you think we might be able to use, please reach out here.

Giving time and knowledge


Your time is incredibly valuable, and possibly the most valuable way to give to Refcode. Browse our volunteering opportunities here.

Reach out about a partnership

Join the list of organizations that have partnered with Refcode to help realize our vision of connecting refugees and immigrants to software engineering careers. There are many ways that you can partner with us, but we are always open to new ideas, so please get in touch!

Levels of Partnership

  1. Send Volunteers!
  2. Host our “dip jar” for a month
  3. Donate Laptops
  4. Sponsor a Refcode Bootcamp student
  5. Hire a Refcode graduate
  6. Host an apprenticeship